Christianity more than a belief is a change of life. Unless we do not dedicate ourselves to do what God commanded us to do, we will not leave a life surrounded by earthly possessions and temptations to live a life that is godly and acceptable unto God.
No one says that this life will be easy. There are some in this world that seems to be the happiest people on earth, but their possessions and power will not grant them true happiness. Often we read in the news and social media about famous actors, singers, politicians who succumb to drugs and depression, and who, erroneously, put an end to those things by putting an end to their lives instead of stopping to do what is wrong. We need to learn how to live our lives according to the purpose that God gave us. The apostle Paul wrote,
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).
Most people in this world have read and listened to the last phrase from the previous passage. Many put them in the windows of their automobiles as a life’s motto. Others use it in their sports apparel, as part of their brand. The apostle Paul, as inspired by God, is not telling the brethren at Philippi that he is able to do everything in this world because Christ empowers him to do it. Some might go further and truly believes that if I am able to climb Mt. Everest is because Christ encouraged me and gave me the strength to do it. That is not the point that the Scriptures teaches.
Paul, while he was known as Saul, was a man that had a lot of power among men because of his position with the Pharisees, and his secular and religious preparation. In this same letter, he described himself as a Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5). In the next verse, he confesses that he persecuted the church, based on his background and belief, but the powerful statement he made to the Philippians is when he wrote, “what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Philippians 3:7).
When he obeyed Christ, he knew that, while he had a good life before, it was nothing compared to the blessing to live and die for Christ, to be a servant of our Lord. He is the same man that wrote,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Dear reader, Paul knew what he lost, but he also knew what he gained. He learned how to live in riches and how to live in necessity. He learned all of that because he understood that Christ is everything we need to live a satisfactory life. Our Lord and Savior said,
“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:31-33).
Our Lord also said that He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). How willing are we to be content with the life that we live? Let us focus more on doing His will than our will, and glorify God in everything we do. Paul gave us a key to accomplish this, as he gave it to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
God bless you!